Beef prices on brink of a crash warns processor
Cattle glut and stagnant live trade will have a 'big effect' say ABP
The beef sector is facing a "catastrophic" collapse in demand this autumn, the country's largest processor has warned.
An extra 80,000 cattle, combined with a market that is turning its back on Friesian types and a re-nationalisation of the French market, are set to hit prices in the latter half of 2016.
Finbarr McDonnell, managing director of ABP's Irish cattle operations, said the increased supply would have "a big effect this back end" and was adamant that a price fall was imminent.
"It is unfortunate that sterling is where it is and unfortunate that live exports are dead in the water," he told the Guild of Agricultural Journalists at ABP's Clones plant last week.
He also urged the country's expanding dairy sector to prioritise cross-breeding with the traditional Irish Hereford and Angus breeds for which "we are pushing an open door" on export markets.
However, the ICSA president, Patrick Kent, responded that the ABP comments were proof that live exports were essential.
"The factories have finally admitted that they cannot sell our stock, which is why live exports should be the top priority for the Minister," he said.